The "I need a mixer, what should I buy?" question seems to come up pretty often, the answer to the question is usually the same. Hopefully this will help people out.

Small Studio : Mackie 1202 vlz3
Price - 275 USD ish new, well under 200 used on Ebay
Inputs - 4 Mono with pre amps, 4 Stereo, several aux / tape etc.
If you are using a few different synths, gameboys or other sound sources and want to record in a studio type setting you probably want something like this. It is very difficult to recommend anything else at this price range, the mixer is built like a tank, I have had one for years, dragged it all over the place, not a single problem. Several other CM.O members also swear buy it.


LSDJ / Piggy tracker "live" mixer : Behringer 502 / 802
Price - 50 USD or 70 USD ish respectively.
Inputs - 1 mono, 2 stereo or 2 mono, 2 stereo with EQ.
If you are playing live and want to mix 2 gameboys and DONT want a DJ mixer (ie mixer with a cross fader) many chip musicians use these. They are very cheap entry level mixers but they seem to do the job.


I don't know much about DJ mixers but I haven't really seen many musicians bringing their own to shows, if anyone has a recommendation they think I should add, let me know.

If one of the above 2 options doesn't suit you for some reason, please post in this thread with the following information about the type of mixer you are looking for.

Live or Studio?
Do you want a DJ mixer?
How many inputs do you want?
What is your budget?
Do you want effects?

And any other useful information you have, one of our friendly technically minded member will probably help you.

Can we add recommendations?

› Show Spoiler

DJ MIXERS

Vestax PMC05PRO III

$300 used or less
2 Channel mixer
Has aux sends for each channel, making adding effects easy.. I have this mixer and hook up my compressor this way
Solid design, I had mine since 2005 in a case, and never had a problem.
Classic hip hop mixer as well.

Vestax PMC-280 PRO

$300 used/ $500 new
4 channel mixer with effects
Has XLR outs, as well as 2 mic inputs
Its the current mixer I use, and is great for live gigs using NES's, or the DOS laptops.
Built really well, and the effects are pretty decent

I had a Pioneer DJM 600 before this one, and actually prefer the PMC280 over this in terms of price and value. Pioneers are very solid mixers, and gig workhorses but are more pricey. To get the Pioneer DJM mixer with awesome features, expect to pay $1000.

So yea wanna be a BALLER DJ9000?? (but still wanna pick up something used)

Pioneer DJM 800

$600-$800 USED
4 Channel mixer
On board effects
Solid design
"Industry Standard club mixer"


Budget banger mixers:

Numark X6

$160 NEW
2 Channel mixer with effects

Numark DXM06

$100 USED
2 Channel mixer with effects
Has sweet glowing effects on off button
I had one of these mixers a long while back. You can make due.

Last edited by O2star (Jan 31, 2013 3:36 pm)

I'd like to add a budget DJ Mixer with more options:

Behringer NOX404

$230 New
2 inputs, 1 mic input
beat-syncable effects available on inputs and mic input
USB output

I've run a 3rd gameboy, guitar via DI box, and synth through the mic input, basically gives you a 3-channel DJ mixer with effects. The USB output kinda sucks but the main output is pretty quiet. Effects are decent and the faders are OK. For the price, what it does is good.

O2star wrote:

DJ MIXERS

Vestax PMC05PRO III

$300 used or less
2 Channel mixer
Has aux sends for each channel, making adding effects easy.. I have this mixer and hook up my compressor this way
Solid design, I had mine since 2005 in a case, and never had a problem.
Classic hip hop mixer as well.

Vestax PMC-280 PRO

$300 used/ $500 new
4 channel mixer with effects
Has XLR outs, as well as 2 mic inputs
Its the current mixer I use, and is great for live gigs using NES's, or the DOS laptops.
Built really well, and the effects are pretty decent

I had a Pioneer DJM 600 before this one, and actually prefer the PMC280 over this in terms of price and value. Pioneers are very solid mixers, and gig workhorses but are more pricey. To get the Pioneer DJM mixer with awesome features, expect to pay $1000.

So yea wanna be a BALLER DJ9000?? (but still wanna pick up something used)

Pioneer DJM 800

$600-$800 USED
4 Channel mixer
On board effects
Solid design
"Industry Standard club mixer"


Budget banger mixers:

Numark X6

$160 NEW
2 Channel mixer with effects

Numark DXM06

$100 USED
2 Channel mixer with effects
Has sweet glowing effects on off button
I had one of these mixers a long while back. You can make due.

Will you please post in here if you ever find a DJM 800 for a good deal?? Would be forever indebted to you

I can do that sure.. Im always aware of things heh.. But I did just check the used database on GUITAR CENTER's site, and ebay.. Yikes, prices seem to be at the lowest $800. Ooops!

Do you have a guitar center near you? If you keep checking the USED database on the guitar center site, as soon as one appears for a good price.. you can have them ship to the nearest guitar center for you . You still have 30 days to try it and make sure it works. If you dont like it, or doesnt work right, you can return it with no questions asked. I have done this with a couple mixers and some synths, returned more than I bought.. ha.

Ah yeah for sure.. I try to avoid giving money to Guitar Center as much as possible, but I do acknowledge that it is sometimes the best option *sigh*

Thanks for the pro-tip bro-tip

Soundcraft Notepad series
PRICE: Discontinued, readily available on eBay for $50-200 depending on model
INPUTS: 2-4 mono inputs with preamps, 2-4 stereo inputs with a 1/4" and/or RCA
Built just like the Behringer mixers but much better sounding. The largest versions have effects built in.

boaconstructor wrote:

Ah yeah for sure.. I try to avoid giving money to Guitar Center as much as possible, but I do acknowledge that it is sometimes the best option *sigh*

Thanks for the pro-tip bro-tip

Why dont you like giving them money? I have heard people say this before and I dont understand.. Its pretty much the only option these days to buy used gear from a retail store that has been checked out, has a warranty, and lets you test it out for yourself.

"Its pretty much the only option these days to buy used gear from a retail store that has been checked out, has a warranty, and lets you test it out for yourself."

Whada 'bout Sam Ash? .... seriously though....I think that you may have answered your own question.   there used to all kinds of great specialty stores- music, hobbies, even electronic components,  before the rise of intergalactic superstores.

Last edited by Charbot (Jan 31, 2013 7:27 pm)

this thread is awesome, even for someone like me who already owns many mixers.

Charbot wrote:

"Its pretty much the only option these days to buy used gear from a retail store that has been checked out, has a warranty, and lets you test it out for yourself."

Whada 'bout Sam Ash? .... seriously though....I think that you may have answered your own question.   there used to all kinds of great specialty stores- music, hobbies, even electronic components,  before the rise of intergalactic superstores.

ah right, forgot about Sam Ash.. they have used gear as well... but I dont think they allow shipping from different locations, or even have a "centralized database" for used gear.

Daddys Junky music was the best.. always had good stuff... shame they are gone. sad

I just like to support the local shops where I can.. you know, like all that fuck Walmart shit.

Always try for craigslist when it comes to buying used also

Boss BX-80
Pretty cheap barebones 8-channel stereo mixer with EQ, SEND/RETURN, overload lights, mic/gain and those lights that go up and down with the signal. Fun.
Pretty sturdy.

They lack mute channel buttons, but that's pretty easy to mod in.

MooseHead wrote:

those lights that go up and down with the signal

Think that's called a VU meter! smile

viciousitaly wrote:
MooseHead wrote:

those lights that go up and down with the signal

Think that's called a VU meter! smile

You're totally right, had a massive brainfart there.